An exclusive excerpt of a selected scene from Callie Hutton's The Duke's Quandary (March 10, 2014) is available on Heroes and Heartbreakers to members. Please log in or register to read the full excerpt.
Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.
Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn’t meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She’ll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she’s been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.
As Drake’s family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?
Penelope heard rustling and peered into the darkened area of the thick trees. A small animal no doubt. But a stark reminder that she stood in the garden in her dressing gown, with the cool dampness seeping into her. She bent to pick up her rug when something flew at her, knocking her to the ground and rolling her over and over.
Within seconds she identified her attacker as Drake, who kept rolling her back and forth until she had to close her eyes with dizziness. Then he began to hit her about the ankles. What in heaven’s name was the matter with him? Had he too much to drink? An attack of brain fever?
“Woman, you are a danger to yourself and the world in general.” He’d finally stopped his attack, and rolled her onto her back. Leaning over her, he placed his hands on either side of her head, much too close for her comfort. He glared at her, his jaw tightened, a muscle in his cheek jumping.
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